Sailing Charter in Greece - Part 8 - Antiparos and Naxos

Beautiful spot to moor for the evening - between Antiparos and Despotiko

This is part 8 of my sailing in Greece series. You can find part 7 here.

Early Friday evening, June 28 2013, we left Ios to set sail for a an anchored bay visit between Antiparos and Despotiko. Wikipedia says:

The strait separating Despotiko from Antiparos only has a minimum depth of about 1m, with the intervening islet of Koimitiri. This extreme shallowness of the strait suggests the possibility of a link between Antiparos and Despotiko in former times.

Antiparos to Naxos

While we love exploring towns on foot, finding restaurants, and climbing hills, it sure is nice to have a periodic break where you are captive on the boat and sharing a bottle of wine and food you prepare as a group.

Chris makes fried cheese - YUM!

I experimented with a saganaki (fried cheese) recipe with decent success, and we cooked up a tasty dinner of sliced sausage with veggies alongside mashed potatoes. There were beautiful ships in the bay, including a giant slate grey yacht flying the British ensign. Vassilis and the rest of us enjoyed this view over a fine bottle of cheap Greek rosé wine.

Reupplying in Naxos - FIX us up!

Our next stop after a morning sail for about 4 hours on Saturday was the island of Naxos. This is easily the most built out of the islands we have visited, and it is large with tall mountains (Mt Zeus is over 3,000 ft). Our first stop was a grocery resupply, with the priority being a large flat of Fix beer.

We also dropped into a local souvenir shop that specialized in the local liquor Kitron plus some of the local red wines. Kitron is tasty and the dry variety reminds me of Cointreau.

Heading out to explore Naxos Chora

Before dinner we hiked up the hill to the Castro and the Venetian House museum. What a treat this was! For 5€ each we got a private guided tour.

Best museum tour ever - free drinks at the end

This may sound a bit steep, but our guide was extremely knowledgeable and there was ample spirit tasting at the end. She also gave us a strong dinner recommendation.

C'mon, say cheese -  at the Temple of Apollo in Naxos

Before dinner was a visit to the Temple of Apollo for a sea-level sunset and more photos. The temple is at the end of a narrow isthmus and offers a great view of the harbor.

Dinner at Maro's Taverna in Naxos Chora, on the advice of our Kastro tour guide

We picked up Vassilis on our way back at the pier then up to the maze that is the town to find our dinner spot, Maro. People were so helpful with directions but we needed Vassilis to guide and translate. I wish we knew enough Greek for simple directions like this. Maro did not disappoint, with highlights such as drunken pig and spaghetti with a big slab of slow-cooked pork.

A brief sidebar to talk about the things we were glad we brought, and the things we wished we had brought:

Glad we brought

  • Starbucks Via instant coffee (though we should have brought more)
  • Ranch mix (useful for dips, ad-hoc salads - wish we had brought more)
  • Drink mixes (like Crystal Light)
  • Sticheln Deck
  • 12 volt car adapters for charging USB devices
  • Bluetooth speakers for on boat music
  • Cheap sunglasses
  • Baby wipes (should have brought more)

Wish we brought

  • Clothes pins
  • Clothes line
  • French press for making coffee

Church in Filoti, Naxos

On Sunday in Naxos we needed to find rental cars to explore the island. Dave and I thought we had a good line on 2 cars to rent for 25€ a bit off the main drag to the south of the city, but alas they did not seem in a rush to open. We looped back toward the pier and found more expensive options. Persistence paid off as we found 2 soft top Chevy Matize for 25€ each. Traffic is much more of a pain on Naxos than other towns -- this is definitely more urban. We worked our way across the middle of the island to see a cool church in Filoti.

These are sleepy, non-touristy villages with beautiful churches and main streets. We continued on to the coastal town of Moutsouna.

Enjoying the water in Moutsouna, Naxos

We enjoyed watching some local kids play around, jumping off the pier into the cool water.

Carving up a yellowfin tuna at Moutsouna, Naxos

The taverna had just brought in a big yellow fin, using an electric saw to take him apart. We have drinks at the tavern but with time running short we head back across the mountains to visit Mt Zeus on our left. We had hoped to see the Temple of Demeter, but alas it was closed.

Next stop, Mykonos!!